Weird Veiled Cham Behavior

Discussion in 'Chameleons' started by jpapp, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. jpapp

    jpapp Embryo

    Hi All, my wife and I just purchased a male baby veiled cham 4 days ago and got him all set up. Seems to be doing really well. Good coloration and active. We have been feeding him small crickets (2/day) with a feeding wire and calcium supplement dusting. The only thing we have noticed is that after feedings he will sometimes stand on his hind legs holding his body vertically. I don't know if he is using gravity to assist digestion or what. the crickets we are using are small and roughly the size of the space between his eyes though some may be slightly bigger. I will try to get a pic next time he does this. Temp and humidity seem well with in line with the articles I have read online (85 degrees + in basking branches and approx. 75 lower in the enclosure. Humidly around 50%). Definitely appreciate any help. Thanks!
     
  2. jpapp

    jpapp Embryo

    photo.JPG
    above is a pic of him "sitting" up after eating. This time made sure to pick the smallest cricket but still same behavior. also noticed that he was swallowing repeatedly while doing this. Has anybody ever seen this before??
     
  3. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Oh my goodness, he is a tiny little dude! How big is he exactly? (Snout to vent length?) Your guess about using gravity to help him swallow would be my first guess as well. I've never seen one do that personally, but if his prey items are not small enough that would explain why he is exhibiting this behavior. Prey items should be smaller than the space between their eyes. If he is as small as he looks in the picture, he should be on pinhead crickets. Most likely you will need to order these online as most pet stores do not carry crickets that small.

    Is he only doing the standing up and swallowing repeatedly act after he is eating? I would pay very close attention to him during the day. If you notice him gaping or swallowing repeatedly, he may be developing a respiratory infection, which causes a buildup of mucous that makes it difficult to breathe, thus the gulping behavior.

    Your temperatures are perfect for a baby, just be aware that older veileds prefer a slightly hotter basking site of around 90-95F. Make sure your night time temps are dropping about 10-15 degrees. Chameleons do best with a significant temperature drop at night. Also be sure that you are using a digital thermometer with probe or a temp gun to get accurate surface temperature readings, and not a stick on thermometer of any kind.
     
  4. StikyPaws312

    StikyPaws312 Moderator Staff Member

    Aw, he's an adorable little guy!
    I'm right along with Cammy.... never noticed any exhibiting that behavior...

    Just out of curiosity - how big is the tank and is there a drip system at all?
     
  5. jpapp

    jpapp Embryo

    thanks! he would be from snout to vent approx. 2 1/2". he only exhibits this behavior after eating. we have been watching him during days when he is not feeding and never see any gasping or swallowing not associated with feeding. His breathing seems normal as well. we have been carefully watching him and he seems ok on all fronts outside this uniqueness. He has even started to change color when in the plants. also appetite is good.

    enclosure is 18" x 18" x 36" (we bought the large ZooMed figuring better to buy a larger one now so he can grow into it). There is no drip system but we heavily mist during the day (at least 4-5 times) and both my wife and I have observed him drinking. Temps in night are around low 70's. We use a digital thermometer and hygrometer combination. We have 3 live plants in the his cage (porthos, dragon plant, and croton. We verified these plants were ok with a couple of articles online prior to putting in tank)

    let me know if any thing jumps out to anybody. Thanks again!
     
  6. Cammy

    Cammy Administrator Staff Member

    Everything sounds good to me, and it is very good that this is a behavior noted solely at feeding time. Like I said, you may need to order some pinheads--HE IS SO TINY AAAHHH...ahem. Sorry. So cute.
     
  7. StikyPaws312

    StikyPaws312 Moderator Staff Member

    Oh goodness! He's even smaller than I thought! So cute!
    I definitely agree with Cammy - order some pinhead crickets. They also have extra small phoenix worms that might be good for him to try - they're soft bodied small black soldier fly larvae and can be ordered online here.
     
    Cammy likes this.
  8. StikyPaws312

    StikyPaws312 Moderator Staff Member

    How is he doing?
     
  9. Holmes

    Holmes New Member

    Alright, so I've had my chameleon for a heck of a long time.

    I thought that even since this thread was old, I'd pitch in.

    The strange swallowing behavior is completely normal. Often times after drinking or eating, they will use gravity to help them swallow their food. It looks like they are swallowing with their mouths closed while pointing their head upwards.

    Completely normal. No need for any kind of ruckus.
     
  10. YourChameleon

    YourChameleon Embryo

    Totally normal behavior, ive had a male panther chameleon who actually stood up on back legs while eating. Lived a long and happy life. Love to see an update pic.
     

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